Senior Julia Herring wins 4th consecutive state diving title

Olivia Piontek, Staff Writer

Senior Julia Herring competed in the state dive meet last week and took home her fourth consecutive title. 

Winning state any year is a big accomplishment, but winning it this year held a bigger meaning to Herring.

“To win the state championship my senior year was important to me, as it is a good way to end my high school diving career,” said Herring, who will dive next year for the University of Alabama. 

Diving has played an important role in Herring’s life for a while now. 

“I started at my little neighborhood pool just diving during the summers, as I was a pretty serious gymnast,” Herring said. 

After quitting gymnastics in fifth grade, Herring decided to switch to diving and started to dive competitively the following year. 

In seventh grade, she qualified for the “Junior World Trials.”

 “I qualified for it at the previous year’s nationals. I was the youngest person competing in the competition, so I was so nervous. It was a big deal,” she said. “There were cameras everywhere, USA Diving panels up, sponsorships, and trainers all over the pool deck at all times. I ended up competing horribly just because I was so nervous. But it definitely was a learning experience more than anything.”

Despite competing in a national event before she was even a freshman in high school, Herring believes that her biggest achievement was winning four state diving titles. 

“To me it does seem like it is that big of a deal as there is so much more to the diving world than people know, but the more I sit and think about it I realize that no one has ever done what I have before. So that’s pretty cool,” Herring said. 

She also set records each time she took home a first place medal.

 “I am the state record holder of the highest number of points in a six-dive list, done twice during a state championship for prelims and finals,” she said.

Herring prepared for the state championship by getting lots of sleep and eating well to help maintain her energy. Diving meets can be very long, and she said staying energized keeps her competition anxiety under control. 

Another way that Herring controls her competition anxiety is through the relationships that she has with her teammates and coaches, and she said “The fun of being on a team with such great teammates and coaches” is what she will miss the most about diving for St. Pius.  

“We have a certain understanding of each other because we all want the same thing and work so hard to achieve it,” she added. “We see each other at our best, but more often at our worst, so that makes us close.”

Her St. Pius career may be over, but she’s ready to make a splash at the University of Alabama next year.